Disclaimer insert here: No I do not own Bleach or Sekirei much to my disappointment.
All characters belong to their rightful owners, except any OC's that I include, which will only hopefully be one or two minor characters. An M rating is for future violence, dismemberments, gore, language, very foul language, and of course Adult situations later on.
Edited Jan 03, 2015
Welcome new or returning readers. For those you know my style you can ignore this but for those you are new to my stories please understand my following statement. I will not respond to PM or reviews that complain about me using Japanese terms in any capacity. It is my personal preference to use them. If this bothers you, I'm sorry but again my choice. I do hope you find a way to enjoy this regardless, if not, again I'm sorry.
The funeral pyres were aligned in a single row, each a reminder of the terrible price that was paid to defeat the greatest enemy Soul Society had ever faced. Even Aizen Sōsuke's treachery did not come close to the lives lost, as they did suffer at the hands of the Vandenreich, during the last battle for Soul Society. Both Shinigami and Arrancars stood in quiet silence as individual prayers where given to the honored dead, once enemies, now allies stood beside one another as they gazed upon the faces of the dead. Quiet sobs and soft sniffles occasionally broke the silence as they all waited for one last person to come to say his goodbyes. His presence demanded they wait; his lost was one of the hardest for many to even comprehend. Finally, the Soutaichou decided that someone should go and look for the young man; he turned to his fukutaichou and nodded for her to give the order. However, the order wasn't needed, as the man they all waited for suddenly appeared in front of the funeral pyre that held three people.
Kurosaki Ichigo; his blazing orange hair and his once warm brown eyes, looked down at the pyre he stood before, the one that held three individuals. Looking down at the first person, he took out a small portrait of a woman whose face was slightly older but a near mirror image of the one he loves. Placing it under the arms of the man he had such a rocky relationship with in the beginning, but eventually found his respect for. He knelt down to the man's ear and whispered so silently no one could hear him.
Shifting to the next body he placed a pair of sunglasses similar to ones the man had worn over the years he had known him. Again he whispered in his fallen comrade's ears so quietly his last words meant only for him and one he was speaking to. It was when he looked upon the last body, that of a very petite woman whose raven hair gently moved in the wind, that the first real emotions finally betrayed themselves in the young man's eyes.
Silent tears started to fall from his face as he brought out a small plushie of Chappy the Rabbit, his face contoured into a small scowl as he looked at the doll. However it was quickly replaced by his emotionless mask just as quick. He gently lifted her arms and placed the furry rabbit under them as if she was holding it while she slept. He again whispered into her ear then gently kissed her forehead; he placed his own on hers as he silently wept for a few moments before he stood up. He looked up at the sky for a moment before turning slightly back at the Soutaichou, silently asking for permission to begin the funeral fires.
Kyōraku Shunsui just nodded and looked at the assemble crowd, motioning to all those chosen to give the deceased their final orders, each silently walking to their designated funeral pyre. At his silent order each started to use kidō to light the fires that would send their loved ones back into the cycle of life. Ichigo lit the first one containing his now deceased fiancée Kuchiki Rukia, her brother Kuchiki Byakuya, and her childhood friend Abarai Renji.
He then walked to join the only friend from Karakura that had survived that horrible day as she openly sobbed at the three figures lying before her. Gently wrapping his arms around her, he held Inoue Orihime as she grabbed his shihakushō trying to find that last moment of reconciliation before the grief became too much for her to handle. Ichigo gently rubbed her back as she cried, letting her sorrow soak into his uniform. Finally placing Orihime's hand onto his arm he performed the flame kidō, just waiting for her to signal her readiness, she nodded her acceptance a few moments later and moved his hand towards the pyre. They both stood back as the flames started to build to consume their friends.
The first had been a friend to both for the longest out of the three, Arisawa Tatsuki. Her face still held her famous tough girl image, her black spiky hair was moving wildly from the fire born winds. She had only gained her power shortly after Ichigo gained his true Zanpakutō from Nimaiya Ōetsu, her ability similar to Karin's use to manipulate reiatsu into anything she wanted. She died while pushing Rukia out of the way from a blow to her blindside, even holding onto the Quincy's arm while dying to allow Ikkaku to behead the man viscously.
Sado Yasutora, to his friends though he would always be Chad, was on Tatsuki's right his gentle form belying the fact of the true strength he possessed. He had been the one who crushed the head of Askin Nakk Le Vaar, the Stern Ritter designated as D, with his bare hands. As his head was being crush the Stern Ritter somehow performed Sprenger to ensure he killed Chad along with himself.
Finally, one of the last of the true Quincies, Ishida Uryū laid to the left of Tatsuki, in a pristine white uniform given to Ichigo by Ishida Ryūken, Uryū's father the day before to make sure his son joined the others in honor. He sacrificed his life in order to give Ichigo and Zaraki that last minute opening needed to kill the so called Emperor. His deception of joining the Vandenreich ensured he got close enough so that when the moment arrived he would finally be able to avenge his mother's murder. Even if he hated shinigami, his hatred for the man who caused his mother's death overruled any other path in his life, only the Emperor's death would allow him to move on in life.
The next pyre held the body of Ukitake Jūshirō. His two third seats where given the honor of sending him off on his final journey. His death hit Soutaichou and Unohana Retsu the hardest as he was one of the very first to graduate from the Shinōreijutsuin Academy. He alone was responsible for the death of at least five of the elite Stern Ritter's before he was cut down from behind by Yhwach himself.
Next to his pyre Urahara Kisuke, Tsumugiya Ururu, Tsukabishi Tessai and Shihōin Yoruichi all stood before two pyres slowly being consumed by flames; one pyre held Suì-Fēng, the other was for Hanakari Jinta. No one knows how she died, all they found where corpses literally piled high around her body, all dead from Shunko strikes.
Next to stand before a funeral pyre were Shiba Isshin, his twin daughters Kurosaki Shiba Karin and Yuzu and finally Hinamori Momo who were there to send the Tenth squad taichou and fukutaichou on their journey together. Isshin slowly moved Hitsugaya Toshiro's hair to the side as tears fell from the usually eccentric head of the Kurosaki-Shiba household. He watched proudly as his young daughter Karin placed her jersey under his hands, she had worn it the day that she and Toshiro played their soccer game against a group of older kids during the Winter War.
Yuzu and Momo placed persimmons and a small bottle of sake on either side of Matsumoto Rangiku, the bottle earned a few chuckles from everyone who knew and had even survived a night of drinking with her. Finally the last shinigami pyre was surrounded by the six surviving Vizards; they each had materialized their mask and as one lit the fire to send off both Hirako Shinji and Kuna Mashiro onwards. Sarugaki Hiyori in one final act kissed Shinji on his lips and placed her favorite weapon of discipline next to him, her sandals.
Tier Harribel, the last of the Espada stood before two pyres, her last duty as the Queen of Hueco Mundo she would perform. Beside her stood her two newly acquired fracción, Melony Mallia and Loly Aivirrne, both had chosen to stay with her in Soul Society rather then return to the descending hell that was once their home. She stared first at the left pyre holding her beloved fracción, Emilou Apacci, Franceska Mila Rose and Cyan Sung-Sun, all had died to ensure her survival yet again; they had used Alon to the point of reiatsu deprivation. When they had finally collapsed, they were defenseless and therefore easy prey for the vultures of the Vandenreich.
That was how the two that now lay side by side on the other funeral pyre came to be there. It held both her predecessor and the former Sexta Espada. Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez had died fighting back to back, trying to give her fracción the time needed to recover, but again the numbers and strength of the enemy were against them. Both had died, but they had taken out so many of the Soldats that it finally forced seven of the Sternritters to attack in force. But they too suffered at the hands of the Pantera and Gamuza. Before each of them fell they had killed three of the Elite, seriously wounded four others before they were each struck down by the last. The coward had waited until they were both exhausted, he however in his gloating never saw Tia as she had sonido behind him, swiftly bifurcating him. As she looked at the last remnants of the Espada she turned to Loly and Melony with sadness in her eyes she gently gave them the order to light the pyres.
Tia leaned instinctually onto the familiar hand that had made its way to her shoulder as the fires engulfed her fellow Espadas and Fracción. Ichigo stood beside her as he did so many times since he rescued her from her prison. He had broken in with her fracción, Nel, Grimmjow and Chad, all to keep his promise to Sung-Sun that he would save her. After her rescue, he had so animatedly argued that they should enlist her and the other survivors if they wanted to even stand a chance of winning against Yhwach, he went so far as threatened to quit the war and take his friends back to the World of the Living if Central Forty Six refused. To ensure their place in the peace should it come, he also added to his demands that any Espada or Numerous who lived afterwards be given a choice to stay with the Gotei Thirteen or be left in peace in Hueco Mundo. To help quash any arguments that Central Forty Six may have thought of to refuse, all Four Great Noble Houses endorsed his demands and had them certified and posted the decree not only in the Seireitei but in all of the Rukongai as well.
Ichigo stood together with the Tia on his right, Orihime to his left as they watched the fires consumed so many of their friends, comrades, and the one who was to be his wife. Silence was all that anyone could allow at this moment in time, a time where peace had finally been achieved. The final sins of a bygone era now eradicated but a peace heavily paid for by blood. The Soutaichou of this era would not allow the mistakes brought about by the previous Central Forty Six to happen again, so he argued and fought for his changes that the new government not only consists of nobles but of ordinary Rukongai citizens as well. They could no longer hide themselves or declare summary judgments without a full inquiry or trial. All would be equal before them and the rights to have council were now mandatory. His inspiration coming from the orange hair transcendent now standing in front of the assemble crowd flanked by a human and a hollow both dear to him.
As the fires slowly died down many said their final prayers or made their last goodbyes, all but the honor guard of Onmitsukidō and one stoic shinigami. When the final embers died down, the heat no longer there, Ichigo signaled the Onmitsukidō to his side. Gently using his reiatsu he gathered the remaining ashes and with a gentle push, sent them into the heavens. All had bowed to show their final respects to the warriors that could never be replaced in the hearts of so many that had loved them. Ichigo dismissed the remaining members and made his way to the overlook from Sōkyoku Hill and stared over the place that had become a second home to him. Looking over his life, his decision made, he went in search of his family and friends to give them the answer they had all been waiting for since the day he lost his Rukia.
Two weeks after Karakura High's graduation.
"Are you sure this is what you want to do Ichigo?" Kyōraku asked the young man sitting before him.
"Yeah Shunsui it is. I have had enough, lost enough, and seen enough. It's time for me to give peace a chance, explore the world and try to find myself. When I lost her, I lost a part of my desire as well. I no longer have the passion to fight and I am not really needed to protect anything or anyone right now. My kazoku is safe here and to be honest there is nothing holding me in Karakura now that we have graduated. I know she will be fine here, she fits in real well and she has my imouto and Tia to watch over her now, so the only thing left for me is to close the clinic up and go." Ichigo said as he sat across from his Soutaichou.
"I guess this is it then."
"I guess so." A slight smirk played across the former substitute Shinigami's face.
Getting up they both walked to the doors where Shunsui stopped, turning he shook Ichigo's hand and showed him out.
Standing outside of the Soutaichou's office was one Urahara Kisuke in his trademark outfit of a green shirt and a pair of pants, his well worn wooden sandals, but instead of his usual brown jacket he had the new addition of a taichou's haori. The Fifth Squad's Insignia clearly marked on the back. His head was down as if he was in deep thought only for him to raise it along with the fan that Ichigo hated equally to his father's morning wakeup routine.
Sighing deeply to himself, Ichigo got ready to argue his decision again with the shouten owner one more time. "It is of no use Geta-Boshi, I'm still leaving and nothing you or my chichi say will make me change my mind."
Not even saying a word, the former member of the Onmitsukidō simply walked up to him and grabbed his head with one hand and used the other to pull him into a tight hug. Ichigo could only react surprised for a moment before he hugged the man back, they stayed that way for only a few moments but the message was clear to the man who had saved Soul Society twice. As painful as it was to leave, Ichigo had made up his mind to go. Nothing would ever be the same to him, his White Moon had died and as such his inner world flooded once again. He knew if his partners were still around it may have been easier, but they weren't and this time he would face his sorrow alone. Stepping back from one another Kisuke gave Ichigo a Soul Phone.
"What's this for Geta-Boshi?" He asked.
"We know your decision Ichigo, but your ojisan insisted you call at least once a year. Let the phone ring four times on her birthday so we at least know you are ok. He and your imouto would worry constantly if you didn't at least give them a sign that you are alive." Kisuke answered without any hesitation.
Looking at the phone, he looked up at the former shouten owner and arched an eyebrow, the unspoken question left unsaid.
Shaking his head back and forth, Kisuke knew what he was asking so he answered truthfully. "No Ichigo, you are free and clear this time. The badge and your supply of gikongan are also free of any trackers. You have more than earned your time away my protégé; all I want as well as everyone else is to make sure you are safe in the World of the Living. You have your accounts in order and no I will not be watching them either Ichigo. When you are ready to come back we will be here, 'til then."
Putting the supplies into his shihakushō, he handed a thumb drive to Kisuke in return. "It's a message to everyone listed Kisuke, if you could gather them later today to play the video for them. If I stay I know I will succumb to Karin and Yuzu, even worse would be her puppy dog eyes. No one can say no to that look."
Chuckling in agreement Kisuke had to admit he too had fallen to all three especially when they ganged up on him and Tessai. Tessai said it was even worse when you threw in a certain feline and Ururu as well. One last hand shake was given and soon a garganta was open and three shinigami watched as the second most powerful being disappeared into the black void.
"Do you think he will ever recover Kisuke?" The second Soutaichou asked.
"To be honest Shunsui I don't know. He has suffered so much in the last three years. It is a miracle he is still alive with all he has endured up 'til now. But her death is what is driving him now; he needs time away from us and from Soul Society. He found love only for it to be stolen from him because of our mistakes. Someday his rain will stop and who ever it is, is going to be the luckiest woman in the world." Snapping his fan open Kisuke disappeared in a burst of shunpo to face the music of those left behind.
"Kyōraku Taichou what did Urahara Taichou mean by 'stopping the rain'?" Ise Nanao his fukutaichou asked.
"Once I asked Ichigo what he meant by that when he let it slip as he watched over Rukia, it was right after he saved her from her execution. He blushed as he told me that before he meet her, his life seem to be under a constant rain fall, afterwards whenever she was near him, there was no feeling of rain. He later told me when he gain his inner world Zangetsu would complain when he was depressed, he would gauge his emotions by how much rain was falling at the time. Right now I would say that if one were to see his inner world it would be a steady monsoon now. Her death has opened the clouds of heaven upon his soul." Sighing deeply the First Squad taichou felt as old as his sensei must have at times like this.
'Why did we have to put so much responsibility onto the shoulders of an eighteen year old man?'
AN: I will be trying to edit all posted chapters when I can
First is for your family, the second is for someone else's family
Father, chichi, otousan / Mother, haha, okaasan / Older Brother, ani, oniisan / Older Sister, ane, oneesan
Younger Brother, otouto, otoutosan / Younger Sister, imouto, imoutosan / Uncle, oji, ojisan / Aunt, oba, obasan
Husband, otto, goshujin / Wife, tsuma, okusan / Son, musuko, musukosan / Daughter, musume, ojousan
General Family Terms
Family kazoku / Parents ryoushin / Siblings kyoudai / Child kodomo / Cousin itoko / Relatives shinseki
Soutaichou Head Captain
Plural for some terms end with tachi. ie. kodomotachi or kodomo-tachi, not really sure of correct use.
Special Terms per chapter